To inform former president Jacob Zuma about his decision relating to the corruption charges against him is not special treatment, the National Director Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams told the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Wednesday evening.
Shortly before Abrahams was due to appear before the Scopa, the Constitutional Court dismissed an application by the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac), which sought to delay Abrahams’s announcement on whether Zuma should be prosecuted in the “spy tapes” saga, which could lead to possible charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering.
Abrahams told the committee he could not provide them with a preview of his decision. He first has to inform Zuma of his decision before he can make a public announcement on it.
IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa asked if that was special operating procedure or standard operating procedure.
‘I’m here to inform you’
But Abrahams said that Zuma was the one who was asked to make representations to him and, as such, it is only appropriate for Zuma to be informed first.
“There is no special treatment afforded to former president Zuma,” said Abrahams.
“It is not a matter of going to knock on former president Zuma’s door and say: ‘I’m here to inform you’,” said Abrahams, adding that it would happen through his legal representative.
Hlengwa also expressed his concern about instability at the NPA.
“I disagree completely [that] there is a level of instability at [the] NPA,” Abrahams responded.
He said the only instability was around the court case on his appointment.
He said he asked his four deputies after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address, where the matter was raised, if the NPA was unstable. Only one answered in the affirmative.
‘Play the ball and not the man’
He added that the perceived instability was “created by NGOs using the media to litigate against me”.
“What agenda is being driven? Play the ball and not the man,” he said.
He said the NPA’s performance is the best it has been since the institution came into existence.
Hlengwa also expressed his concern that it seems that prosecutions seem to be politically motivated.
Abrahams denied this, like he did the week before, when he appeared before a joint meeting of the portfolio committees of police and of justice and correctional services.
“You cannot remotely, take one, two three or a [handsful] of matters and say these are politically induced…”
DA MP Tim Brauteseth interrupted and said his responses were “very shouty”.
But Abrahams apologised and said that wasn’t his intention.— News24